"After providing for the Food Bill we will still remain in the limit I have set for myself in the Budget," he said (Agencies)
Chidambaram further said the fiscal deficit would be contained at 4.8 percent of the GDP even after doling out subsidies for the implementation of the Food Security Bill. "(Fiscal deficit of) 4.8 percent of GDP and the absolute number indicated in the Budget is a red line and the red line will not be breached... We have provided enough money for the cost of the food security programme for the remainder of the current fiscal," he said.
The total food subsidy budgeted in the current fiscal is Rs 90,000 crore, of which Rs 10,000 crore is towards the implementation of the programme. The Food Security Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on Monday which seeks to provide cheap food grains to 82 crore people in the country, ushering in the biggest programme in the world to fight hunger.
It will guarantee 5 kg of rice, wheat and coarse cereals per month per person at a fixed price of Rs 3, Rs 2 and Rs 1 respectively.
The annual financial burden after its implementation is estimated to be about Rs 1.30 lakh crore at current cost
Under the programme, 75 percent of the rural and 50 percent of the urban population at all India level will be entitled to receive subsidized foodgrain through the public distribution system (PDS).
"After providing for the Food Bill we will still remain in the limit I have set for myself in the Budget," he said